What are the main types of plant maintenance?

There are a large variety of maintenance procedures. These various types of maintenance are often broken down into two broad categories: preventive and corrective. Corrective maintenance is also sometimes called remedial or permanent maintenance. Proactive plant maintenance plays a crucial role in minimizing risks and ensuring the longevity of your assets, ultimately safeguarding your investment and reducing the need for costly plant insurance claims.

This article will outline some of the main types of plant maintenance, including examples from both the preventive and corrective sides of things.

Facility preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance is any scheduled maintenance activity intended to reduce the risk of equipment failure. It is performed before the equipment fails, in order to reduce the time and cost of repairs. Because this type of maintenance is performed before a failure occurs, it has the potential to save money by reducing downtime and repairs. Preventive maintenance should be performed according to a facility’s equipment manufacturer’s recommendations or a preventive maintenance plan (PMP). This will help ensure that the activities are effective and that they comply with any ISO Standard requirements. Some common types of preventive maintenance for plants include: 

  •  Air compressor maintenance – Air compressor maintenance involves inspecting the compressor for any wear or damage, cleaning the unit and checking the oil level and quality.
  • Bearings maintenance – This type of maintenance involves inspecting the bearings, cleaning them, adding proper lubrication and replacing any damaged parts. 
  • Boiler and/or piping system maintenance – Boilers and pipes are another type of equipment that can fail and cause issues at a facility. A boiler and piping system is an area where preventive maintenance can definitely save money since it is much less expensive to fix an issue before it causes a major problem.

Corrective or repair maintenance

Repair or corrective maintenance is performed after a piece of equipment fails. The goal of this type of work is to restore the equipment to its original operating condition. This could mean replacing a broken part or fixing a crack or dent in a piece of equipment. Once the equipment is operating properly again, the next goal of the corrective maintenance work is to prevent a similar failure from occurring in the future. This can be done by adjusting settings or calibrating a piece of equipment so that it operates at its optimal capacity. This can help avoid future problems that might occur because of the same issue that caused the initial failure. Some common types of corrective maintenance for plants include:  

  • Corrosion/wear and tear maintenance. Any equipment that operates in an industrial setting will have to deal with corrosion and wear and tear. These issues will affect equipment that is outside or in an environment with excessive moisture. Some examples of equipment that would need corrosion/wear and tear maintenance are boilers, storage tanks and pumps. 
  • Electrical systems maintenance. Electrical systems are found in many different pieces of equipment, so this maintenance is very common in plants. Electrical systems maintenance can include repairs and upgrades to wiring, breakers and panel boards. 
  • Fluid systems maintenance. This type of maintenance includes looking at cooling systems and lubrication systems to check for issues like clogs and leaks. It can also include adding more lubrication in areas where it is needed. Common equipment that requires fluid systems maintenance includes gears, motors and bearings.

Condensed service or shutdown maintenance

Shutdown maintenance is intended to fix or replace equipment components or systems that cannot be replaced during normal operation. This type of maintenance is usually required when equipment is too large, heavy or difficult to remove from its location. It may also be necessary if the equipment is in a contaminated or otherwise dangerous area. Shutdown maintenance is generally scheduled for specific dates, often referred to as “shutdown dates.” The dates are determined by an engineer at the plant, who will make sure that all the equipment in the area can be removed and replaced. 

Repair and rehabilitation (R&R) activities

Repair and rehabilitation (R&R) activities are repairs that are done to extend the life of a piece of equipment. This may include adding a new piece of equipment that has similar functionality as an older unit. R&R often happens when a piece of equipment is nearing the end of its life span and needs to be replaced. 

Rebuilding or replacement activities

Rebuilding or replacement activities are activities that primarily involve completely replacing a piece of equipment. This may be necessary when an existing piece of equipment no longer meets the needs of the facility, or when it is too dangerous or difficult to repair the equipment. Replacement activities often happen when an existing piece of equipment has reached the end of its service life and needs to be replaced. This may be because it is beyond repair, or it may be because the equipment is no longer manufactured.


Plant maintenance is an essential part of keeping any manufacturing facility running smoothly. It can help prevent smaller issues from turning into bigger problems, and it can help prevent costly equipment failures. E To keep a facility running smoothly, it is essential to perform regular maintenance on the equipment. This will help prevent smaller issues from turning into bigger problems, and will help prevent costly equipment failures.